The story of how SurfaceLogix became a high performance work team

SurfaceLogix, a Pompano Beach-based manufacturer and distributor of concrete brick paver sealers, stains, and coatings, was a small South Florida business when John Daly took over for his father in 1991.

As president, Daly had a vision of expansion that would permit the team to be competitive in domestic and international markets. But he also had a problem: he was too busy working in his business to focus on its growth.

The only way Daly could remove himself from daily operations would be to empower his team to self-manage. He understood how complex it would be to develop the proper tools, systems and processes, and knew he needed support.

Taking the necessary steps

Florida has a grant program that supports small, local businesses looking to invest in their existing workers. Daly met the qualifications and obtained the grant. Now he just needed to find a company that could teach and empower the SurfaceLogix team to self-manage.

But not just any performance consultant would do. Daly was looking for a progressive approach that would give him the edge in an already competitive industry.

“I wanted an on-site professional development program that would empower my team to self-manage and help us develop the systems and processes to do it effectively,” he said.  “We engaged many companies, but The Dorsey Group was the only one who delivered a complete hands-on program. They came to our office and did the follow-up work. They gave us the data—and taught us to collect data—so that inefficiencies are easily recognizable and solutions are based on fact.”

Reaching new heights with effective processes

Several new practices were introduced and implemented with SurfaceLogix. Of all the work we did together, the implementation of these four tools and processes had the greatest impact for the team as a whole:

  1. 5S: An operational method that organizes and maintains the workplace environment for improved efficiency, productivity, and safety.
  1. Communication infrastructure: These brief meetings keep communication fluid between all members of the team, allowing them to align around organizational goals, manage priorities, and troubleshoot issues as they arise.
  1. Cross training: Each member of the team is trained to understand and handle what other members of the team do, giving everyone a broad scope of knowledge about the business and allowing the team to more effectively support its members.
  1. Process documentation: Arguably the most powerful tool in continuous performance improvement, process maps allow organizations to evaluate their productivity by examining the way that a product or service is delivered from start to finish.

“The daily meetings give everyone a platform to voice opinions and bring new ideas to the table. That’s really when these new ideas come out and are discussed. As we grow, we tighten up communication. The Dorsey Group helped me learn a lot about myself, the company, and how to handle and approach situations,” said Steve Palazzola, SurfaceLogix production manager.

“Employees want to be appreciated, engaged, and challenged. Our employees acknowledge that the change was good and feel like their ideas are being appreciated. The daily meetings have given them an opening for input without judgement. The entire process has solidified the team and our communication, systems, and processes,” Daly said.

“Having The Dorsey Group on-site was important to making the change for us. The one-on-one training gave us the confidence to improve what we had and build a solid foundation for growth. There’s been a complete change in our culture and I feel confident that we have the ability to grow, sustain, and continually improve ourselves,” Daly continued.

A rewarding relationship

Tim Dorsey, president of The Dorsey Group, said, “The SurfaceLogix team members were ideal clients. Lots of times we see people resistant to change. But John, Steve, and the entire team were open to it. Because continuous performance isn’t just about tools and processes. It’s really a change in organizational culture and the way people work as teams and individuals.”

“It’s been a pleasure to work with the Dorsey Group,” noted office manager Denise Mickalonis. “We all acknowledge that we’ve learned a lot throughout the process and we’re in better shape because of it. Our lines of communication are open, people are constantly thinking of ways to improve processes and procedures, and we’re an even closer team,”

Now that SurfaceLogix has their processes clearly documented and their workforce trained in continuous performance improvement, they have their sights set on certifications such as ISO 9000.

The SurfaceLogix story is a small-business success story. Without company leaders like John who want to empower and engage their teams, without state programs that support small businesses, and without companies like The Dorsey Group that make a special effort to foster small-business development, companies like SurfaceLogix may not make the progress they need to be competitive and achieve their goals.

The Dorsey Group is a High Performance Work Team provider that takes businesses and organizations to the next level by teaching them to create strategies, develop people, analyze performance and make lasting operational improvements. Through its inspirational training and processes, The Dorsey Group inspires employees to peak performance and empowers companies to become more dynamic, efficient and profitable. The company has contributed to the success of a prominent list of global corporations, local businesses, and government agencies.